Air India unveils its ‘game-changer’ Airbus A350, India’s latest gen wide body aircraft – Times of India

by The Technical Blogs

HYDERABAD: Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday inaugurated India’s and Air India’s first Airbus A350 aircraft (VT-JRA) at Wings India 2024. AI will get six A350s by this May. These aircraft will begin commercial service with AI with domestic flights on January 22, 2024, and gradually switch to international routes — a standard practice for entry into service for new type of planes in a country as per regulatory requirements.
AI CEO & MD Campbell Wilson said: “The A350 is a game-changer for AI. It will not only elevate our passenger experience but also open up new routes and opportunities for expansion. Together with the full interior refit of our legacy widebody aircraft commencing mid-2024, this upgradation of fleet and product is a key pillar of returning Air India to the upper echelons of world aviation.”
The A350 is equipped with powerful and fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. It has a range of up to 9,700 nautical miles (18,000 km), enabling nonstop flights from India to North America and Australia.
Air India’s A350-900 comes with 316 seats in a three-class cabin configuration. The business class has 28 “private suites” in a 1-2-1 configuration, each having direct aisle access and sliding privacy doors. “At the touch of a button, the suite chairs convert into full-sized beds, becoming guests’ own private cocoons in the sky. Each suite has a personal wardrobe and ample stowage space for electronic devices, amenities, and shoes, as well as a conveniently located mirror, catering to every traveller’s needs. 21-inch HD touchscreen and video handset provide an immersive entertainment experience, while universal A/C and USB-A power outlets ensure mobile and electronic devices stay charged,” AI said in a statement.
Then there are 24 premium economy seats in a 2-4-2 configuration, offering a legroom with 38 inches of seat pitch. “Each seat has a 4-way adjustable headrest and leg rest with a foot paddle for customised comfort, and a 13.3-inch HD touchscreen, and universal AC and USB-A power outlets,” the statement says.
Finally there are 264 economy seats in a 3-4-3 configuration, each with 31 inches of seat pitch and a 12-inch HD touchscreen.
Air India’s A350 enters commercial service on January 22, 2024, initially operating domestically for crew familiarisation on flights to/from Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. The aircraft will be subsequently deployed on international routes. Air India’s firm orders for 250 new aircraft with Airbus include 20 A350-1000 as well.

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